The 2017 Grant County Fair, which begins Sunday, is an annual summer event.
However, this year will provide some changes. This year accompanies new events and standards in attempt to accommodate the needs of the fair’s function as well as the fairgoers.
County fairs across the United States have been dwindling over the past few years. Scott Manwell, the fair board president, said that he has personally observed this in his own experience as well as through conversations with older, loyal fairgoers.
“The fair is just not what it used to be,” Manwell said.
In attempt to accommodate the changing culture as well as the specific community of Grant County, several changes have been implemented for this fair season.
For the first time, the county fair will be charging for parking: $2 per car or $5 for the entire week.
“We don’t take any county tax dollars so everything we do, we have to figure out a way to pay for it,” Mawell said.
However, some monetary cuts in pricing can be found in the grandstand prices. Prices for the 2017 season have been cut from the previous $10 to $5. Motorcross, the queen contest, the derby and the open hog show are just a few of the events that will be held in the grandstand.
However, the real passion for Manwell is in the 4-H aspect of the fair.
“The 4-H part of it, you have kids from ten years old to senior in high school,” Manwell said, “and they get to show off the hard work they have put in all year. There is something special about that.”
Velvet Haisley has judged various 4-H projects for the last two years and shares a similar passion for the program.
“I think 4-H helps our kids learn about different things that they are going to need in life,” Haisley said, “It helps build their character and learn about commitment.
Both Manwell and Haisley had a daughter partipcate in the 4-H program, and both vouch for the way that it has positively impacted their children in their future endeavors.
“Go out and support the 4-H fair,” Haisely said. “In our community there are a lot of people that put in a lot of effort and we should go out and support that.”
The fair runs from Sunday, June 17 to Saturday, June 24.